addressing negative thoughts when they arise and replacing them with more realistic ones, practicing self-care, including exercising regularly, eating healthfully, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep, staying connected to others by building a solid friendship group and getting involved in the wider community, making time for hobbies and enjoyable activities, both alone and with others, returning to therapy if old patterns begin to emerge again. Know that it’s quite normal. I worry when my son is working at the fire hall and I worry about my daughter because she is diabetic. Last medically reviewed on February 26, 2020. Betty, I’m so, so sorry. It’s all the fear trying to find it’s way out. If you explain it that way, maybe your daughter will better understand. Grieving the loss of a loved one while coping with the fear and anxiety related to the COVID-19 pandemic can be especially overwhelming. It is my prayer that we will use this blog as a place where we’ll constantly be learning and growing together. If you need help dealing with your grief or managing a loss, consult with a psychologist or other licensed mental health professional. A mental health professional can also diagnose anxiety in children. Cindy, Oh, how I can relate to what you’ve said! Stay calm during conversations, even when the person tries to provoke a response — they may be trying to “test’ their theory that everyone rejects them. I lost Robbie 2 months ago. I get horrible feelings all the time that he is in trouble and I am missing it. It’s also common for … MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. I pray real hard when my thoughts get going on that path. It is amazing to me how much I worry about him since my oldest son died. To lose your own child (in waking life) and then in a dream indicates general fear about being a parent. I’m not getting what I want, so I’m dealing with what I get. I’m finding that the more I bring to surface my fear of losing another child and talk about it, the less power the fear holds over me. And, fear just seems to take over. “Dear God, please don’t ever take one of my children away. I’m so very sorry. And, it helps me to never go to bed angry with one of my children. It is now twenty-five years since the death of Samuel and I sincerely wish that I could tell you that all of my fear is gone. Will this ever get any easier??? I’m so very sorry for the loss of your son. I didn’t at all understand then, but I sure did learn some hard life lessons in fear later in my own life! I’m still like that. Aside from life-long pain and grief, other changes occur that we’re often afraid to mention for fear of thinking we’re the only one or that we might be wrongly judged. I was overprotective to begin with and now it’s just overprotection on steroids so to speak. And, then the one thing I feared the most happened. The tragedies that we bear are often beyond human belief and listening to your tragedies has brought it to mind once again. In children, a fear of abandonment may manifest itself in the following ways: In severe cases, such as those in which a child has experienced the loss of a parent or caregiver, they may develop unhealthy ways of coping, such as: In adopted children, research indicates that the child may experience the following due to feeling abandoned: Abandonment issues arise from the loss of a loved one, such as a parent, caregiver, or romantic partner. My family sees me as over protective and at times gets very angry. Fear is a sidebar of child loss. Fear can lead to lingering doubts about the safety of other children, a spouse, or, in the case of a subsequent pregnancy, the next baby. And only six months later, my brother-in-law died after being hit by a drunk driver on the way home from work. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your son. Children will need to work with a child psychologist to address their fear of abandonment. That’s all I took, I left my whole life behind. I wish so much that I could reach through this screen and give you a hug. My eldest after college got married. I have to sleep with the tv on so when I wake up something grabs my attention right away to keep me from thinking about horrible images of my children if they aren’t home or haven’t checked in. I check on my youngest son nonstop now. A fear of abandonment is a form of anxiety. Please talk to your daughter about moving. She is so mad that her dad and I are even concerned. You’ve been through a lot of pain — please do all you can to take care of yourself. Coping with the Fear of Loss Use your coping resources. You may be afraid of the dark, being left alone, being around new people or getting hurt. At the time I had a six month old also. I love your post. I don’t know how you all do it. I just don’t get why she can’t understand. People who have a history of trauma or childhood loss may also wish to speak to a doctor or mental health professional if they have not addressed these experiences before. We become empowered wee bits at a time. Fears of abandonment and engulfment—and, ultimately, a fear of loss—is at the heart of a fear of intimacy for many people, and these two fears may often coexist. An extreme fear of dying or losing loved ones could be a sign of an anxiety disorder. I am a broken mom, Friday will be 4 months since my son died. A fear of abandonment is not a medical condition. It’s a never ending cycle of fear, distrust, panic, more fear, and on and on it goes. I don’t know how to control it. Sometimes I get so angry that my precious, innocent Anna had to learn something like that at such a young age. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your little daughter and now the loss of your sister’s niece. I work come home and wait to do it all over again.. My youngest grandson will never know me the way my older grandsons did. Traumatic loss involving intentional violence, e.g., homicide, terrorist attacks, military combat or civil war), or a stigmatizing loss (e.g., suicide) combined with a close attachment to the person causes more severe PTSD symptoms. My son has not got his life in order. Just having a bullet come flying through my bedroom window would be enough to send me over the edge. When our lives are touched by the loss of a child, many things happen to us that change us from the inside out. Try to establish a routine and communicate it to the child — this predictability may be reassuring. It leaves one feeling even more vulnerable. I have learned that it Never gets easier, somehow you just learn to live with it. I try to be calm and have only actually went to hunt down my son once. Praise God she was not hurt. Although the fears are dramatically different from one another, both cause behaviors that alternately pull the partner in and then push him or her away again. then losing my daughter and grandsons, If I lose any more I know I would die. We want to hope and trust in life again, yet…….that nagging fear seems to always cast its horrible shadow over us. The death of a child is a unique loss for which no parent can ever adequately prepare. In fact, a little fear serves as an insurance policy. As such, a doctor cannot diagnose a person as having abandonment issues. Worry isn’t good for us and it will definitely not be food for you when you get pregnant. My love to you! I am now expecting another child, 7 weeks pregnant. It often begins in childhood when a child experiences a traumatic loss. My loss is so new but this explains so much of what I’m feeling and dealing with. The fear was so real and the pain of it felt unbearable. It’s a saying of mine that I say many times each day. My daughter died at age 2 yrs 15 yrs ago in her sleep from allergies. Fear. I left my abusive husband and the home we had lived in for 35 years with my clothes in garbage bags. The loss often stems from a trauma, such as a death or divorce. I love him so much but after just losing my second daughter just last month (she was just a day from turning 8 weeks old) from sids everything jesse does just makes me worry that i may find him dead in the morning and i just want to protect him from everything but i know i cant do that i have to let him be a kid but its so hard. They had a horrible fear that if I moved away they’d never see me again. My daughter wants to drive to Tahoe. Please. You try to be safe. And, I’m so afraid. I try not to worry so much, I just had the two. I was scared to death. Clara, I enjoy your posts. It’s hard to get back that part of us that died when our child died. When my oldest was 18 months old, I clearly remember breaking down in tears for fear I would lose him. This is so true. Although it is less common, abandonment issues can also sometimes begin in adulthood. I hope we can both learn to let some of it go. She has a happy marriage and two beautiful little girls. It’s natural for someone to worry about their own health as they age. I pray I will never get another call like that again, but pretend what I would do and how I would feel if I did. Remember that fear is a biological mechanism that begs us to react. A parent who may at one moment be present and meeting the child’s needs, then at another moment be entirely unavailable and rejecting or, on the opposite end, intrusive and “emotionally hungry” can lead the child to form an ambivalent/ anxious attachment pattern. I know how I would feel because I’ve been there. I am 22 and have lost 2 daughters in the past 4 years, i have 1 living son hes 2 yrs old, and i worry everyday and night that something will happen and i will lose him too. Why? I feel like I’m only at ease when I’m home and my children are home. I want to hold on to her and not let her go. Signs and symptoms of abandonment issues in adults include: Individuals who experienced abandonment in childhood may find themselves drawn to people who will treat them poorly and eventually leave them. And the fear returns…. This article looks at the causes, symptoms, treatments, and related disorders. Each of those things could claim their lives more easily then the child I lost. If my kids don’t answer their phones, I’m in the car checking on them. We fear losing another child because our thinking process says, “If the unimaginable can happen once, it can happen again.”  And, so we begin to smother those around us. Sharon, I’m thinking your daughter does understand “some”, but in her own way she is forcing you and her dad to let go a bit. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake that fear. I’m itchy and over weight. Parents of unborn babies who die often mistakenly blame themselves for the death. If death anxiety is linked to another anxiety or depressive condition, a person may also experience specific symptoms related to the underlying conditions. Anyone can develop a fear of abandonment. Stephanie, I’m so sorry for the pain that has come into your life. If I call or text and they don’t answer I begin to panic. I never, ever wanted to be as full of pain as I was when my sister died, and I never, ever wanted to go through what my parents did when my sister died. We live day in and day out with the fear of losing another child. It is never too late to seek help for abandonment issues. The fear of failure is often hidden behind the reasoning of why you shouldn’t take that step forwa… I’m so thankful you’ve seen this! Lisa, I can hear your pain in the words you’ve written. This is our beginning……. However, mental health professionals will typically recognize when a person is showing symptoms of anxiety due to feelings of abandonment in childhood or adulthood. All rights reserved. This is my life. What Helps When I’m Missing My Child So Much I Want to Die. I’m so sorry to hear this. Thank you for sharing. Those who fear harming themselves or others (a.k.a. Melissa, Oh, how my heart breaks when I hear from a newly bereaved parent. After having 2 miscarriages and loosing my full term son at 1 day old, I fear that I will never have another child. That horribly, paralyzing, underlying fear of losing another child. You so adequately express my emotions. The fact that I could lose them is paralyzing sometimes. My son became a drug addict and my husband became a alcohol drinking ass. They are all adults now, but the worry factor still enters. During therapy, a person can explore their experiences of abandonment, including the root cause of their fears. 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